2018 is upon us and with that brings the New Year’s Honours List, which included a number high profile sportsmen and women. Notable inclusions are the people who helped the England Women’s Cricket Team to win the World Cup, and British & Irish Lions gain a draw against New Zealand.
Clare Connor, OBE: Commander of the Order of the British Empire – Director of England and Wales Women’s Cricket Board. For services to Cricket.
Connor is a former captain for the England Women’s Cricket team, with over 100 caps, and was part of the team that won the Ashes for the first time in 42 years in 2005. Connor is a very focused professional and said after the World Cup Victory that women’s cricket needed to seize the moment. Connor said in an interview with the Guardian, “It was an unbelievably special day but it’s what you do next”, in answer to a question with regards to involvement on women in cricket.
Heather Knight: Officer of the Order of the British Empire – Captain of England and Wales Women’s Cricket Team. For Services to Cricket.
Knight was of course the captain that lead England against India this summer to win the Women’s Cricket World Cup, ascending to the role of Captain in 2016. In an interview to Sky Sports Knight said “It’s a bit surreal to be honest. I’m obviously massively delighted to receive the Order” “It was a proud moment to lift the World Cup on home soil in front of a sold-out Lord’s and one that will live wit me and the team for a very long time”.
Mark Robinson: Officer of the Order of the British Empire – Head Coach England and Wales Women’s Cricket Team. For Services to Cricket.
A former international himself, Robinson as Head Coach is said to a have a ruthless but effective manner in achieving the very best from his players. Robinson said to Sky Sports “There is such a mood of change within our game and with women’s sport full stop – it has been a fantastic year for it in terms of exposure. We have made great strides. We know there are some big hurdles to keep overcoming, but we are making some indents now and that is really exciting”.
Sam Warburton: Officer of the Order of the British Empire – For Services to Rugby Union.
Warburton has been one of the principal names in rugby for the last 8 years or so. The youngest captain for Wales (74 Caps) and of the British & Irish Lions (5 caps), Sam has faced many trials from the start of his playing career. A World Cup Semi-Finalist in 2011, Winner of the Tom Richards Cup (from the Australian Tour with the British & Irish Lions) in 2013 and drew the DHL Lions Series Trophy this year with New Zealand. Warburton is the essence of the professionalism in the sport and has become one of the modern icons of Welsh and World Rugby. Warburton in a statement said that “This recognition is the pinnacle of my career as it is not only a personal honour but it is as much an award for my team mates and coaches at all levels as it is for me”.
Dr James Robson: Member of the Order of the British Empire – Doctor, Scotland National Rugby Team and Head of Medical Services, Scottish Rugby Union. For services to Rugby.
Robson has been part of the Scottish Rugby set up since 1991 and has been part of six tours with the British & Irish Lions, the most recent to South Africa in 2009 and Australia in 2013. Dr Robson has a Fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Robson previously has also campaigned for more preventative and recovery processes with regards to concussion.
Other notable mentions
Officers of the Order of the British Empire
Sarah Lewis – Secretary General of the International Ski Federation – For Services to Sport. Johnathan Morgan – For services to Disability Sport in Wales.
Members of the Order of the British Empire
Susan Anstiss – For services to Grassroots and Women’s Sport.
Robert Paterson – For services to Paralympic Sport.
The list goes on and on for the Men and Women who have been awarded for their efforts to services for an array of Sports in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, too many to recall. However, one can truly say that it is great to see so many people being recognised for their contributions to sport in this country by the Royal Family. The question for these Sports Men and Women is who will hand over their award? One suspects that with their huge involvement in sport, Prince William and Prince Harry could be big contenders with the Queen starting to cut back on her Royal duties.